“We Come From Different Countries, But We All Have One Earth”

Enhancing Intercultural Competencies Through International and Domestic Student Service Learning


  • Caitlin Bletscher Washington State University
  • Kate Hellmann Washington State University


international student, service learning, food security, environmental conservation, global leadership


Increasing international enrollments at U.S. universities and the benefits of cross-cultural interactions among domestic and international populations are well known and documented. Intentional, collaborative projects among diverse undergraduate students allow educators to examine intercultural competence and sensitivity development. This study explored two service-learning projects and related interactions among domestic and international undergraduate university students that addressed the global issues of food insecurity and environmental conservation as they relate to the community near the university. The study explored the impact on intercultural competency development through quantitative and qualitative data. The data were merged into overarching interpretations; the results were used to present tangible recommendations for change within the context of internationalization in higher education.


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Author Biographies

Caitlin Bletscher, Washington State University

CAITLIN G. BLETSCHER, PhD, is a Scholarly Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development at Washington State University Vancouver. Dr. Bletscher’s research focuses on empowering internationally disadvantaged populations through leadership and capacity development. She has taught courses in global leadership and citizenship, human services and nonprofit leadership, intercultural communication, international community development, families in poverty, and global issues in agricultural, human, and natural resource sciences. Email: caitlin.bletscher@wsu.edu

Kate Hellmann, Washington State University

KATE HELLMANN, PhD, is the Director of International Student and Scholar Services at Washington State University. Her research focuses on using sociocultural theory as a lens for international student success in higher education in curricular and cocurricular contexts. She also works in the area of faculty development for best practices in teaching international students. Email: khellmann@wsu.edu


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How to Cite

Bletscher, C., & Kate Hellmann. (2022). “We Come From Different Countries, But We All Have One Earth”: Enhancing Intercultural Competencies Through International and Domestic Student Service Learning. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 11(2), 154–175. Retrieved from https://ojed.org/index.php/jise/article/view/3888